Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A family update

When I started my knitting blog I also intended to do some family updates for any family members that may stumble across my blog. So here goes :)

Thom, M and I are well. We're house hunting at the moment since we sold our local investment unit. The housing prices in our area are astronomical but M and I grew up here and would only consider moving out of the area as a last resort. We've seen a few places and we're starting to get a feel for what we can afford. I'm most looking forward to just having more space and a backyard for Thomas. A 3rd bedroom for a future mini me would be nice as well but since that's not an immediate need we're not too concerned about it.

Thom is going great guns. He's about 15 months now and keeping us on our toes. We go to music classes every Monday (sometimes with Ana and Lil) and Thom is slowly coming out of his shell. He can be quite serious and obvservant and quiet at times so he mostly likes to watch what the other babies and parents are doing and sometimes joins in. He loves playing with his trucks and bouncy balls outside on our balcony and also loves a trip the park. He's getting braver with the big equipment there and M says that he's learnt how to climb up the big slippery dip. He's taken are his mummy and ADORES teddy bears. His favourite teddy, "Teddy", goes everywhere with him and gets oodles of kisses and cuddles. We also often get asked to give Teddy a kiss and cuddle!

He loves his Nanny and Aunty L who come and baby sit sometimes when I need to go out or when M and I are househunting. He's still on a bit of a futile quest to befriend our lovely puss Rosie but she's still very wary of him. I think she'll appreciate the space in a new house too!

I'm going ok. I keep myself amused with Thom most of the time and in my downtime my hobbie is mostly knitting, obviously! I'm really looking forward to being able to decorate Thom's room when we move as well and I have some ideas already. I'm planning on doing an animal theme, since he's a fan.

We recently took a trip to Canberra to visit my friend, B and her new baby boy A who is ADORABLE. B and I went to uni together (feels like a past life now!) so it was lovely to visit. Thom enjoyed meeting A and got a little jealous when I gave the bub a cuddle. Unfortunately I can't add any photos because our scanner is broken and they weren't digital photos.

That's all for now!

Jen x

Woohoo. Let the ITE knitting begin!

I'm excited! I got my ITE pal today (no hints incase they come across my blog ;-) ). I'll have to put my thinking cap on (knitted of course) and do some secret squirrel investigations and then get knitting!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The german purling gods have finally smiled on me!

I've been having a break from knitting (hence the lack of updates). I was getting MIGHTY frustrated with the time it was taking me to k1,p1 or k2,p2 or other such time consuming purling combinations.

I was determined to learn how to purl using the continental method and while I knew the theory and had studied the knitty videos AND looked over Mon's shoulder as she did it, I STILL couldn't get in. So in true hissy fit style, I threw down my lime green Caliometry and declared a knitting ban!!!

Just tonight I decided to persevere because I REALLY want to make a vest for Thomas and the ribbing (11 rows ARGH!!!!) is k1,p1. I'm proud to say after about 10 minutes of feeling all thumbs I've now mastered continental purling :-D It may not look conventional but it works for me! yay!

I'll post some photos once I've got anything to show :-P

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pretty picot photos

I'm in the middle of making these lovely socks . I'm using 3mm 10cm addi turbos and 4ply handpainted sock yarn.

I fell in love with the pattern when I saw it and was initially scared off because it's more complicated that anything I've tried. But I remember Mon always telling me that we can knit anything because "it's just knit and purl", so I gave it a go!

I plan to put some lovely velvet ribbon (colour tba) in the eyelet hole row.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Rosie and new additions

Here is my other baby - Rosie-May. She does love sinking her claws into my stash when I'm not looking and she was more than happy to help me with this shoot!

This the wool that I dyed, now balled up.

Here is some lovely 10ply handpainted wool that is a new addition

And here is some gorgeous 4 ply sock wool I scored last week, balled up.

Medium Boy's Soaker - yet another WIP!

And here is the medium boy's soaker I'm working on at the moment. This one is going to be for sale soon in my online store (a girl needs to fund her woolly addiction somehow!). I'm using
my favourite soaker pattern for this one and 100% wool.

Here is a small boy's soaker that I finished last week. It's been made using the same pattern and wool, but this time I didn't include the eyelet holes in the waist ribbing. I also haven't done any detail on the legs. I know the leg holes look wonky and mismatched, but I promise they're not....it was just laid out weirdly for the photo!

Felted Wet Bag - WIP

Here is the wetbag I'm working on at the moment. It's one of my many works in progress and I realised I hadn't taken a photo of it (so far) for my blog.

I'm going slowly on it...it's my easy project that I just pick up and knit when I don't want to think about reading patterns or doing something tricky. I'm also using up all of the scraps from my stash so I can make room for more woolies ;-)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Update as per request

Apparently I haven't updated in a while...says a fellow knitting mummy ;-P

Knitting wise, I have finished a small boy's soaker and I have balled up my hand dyed green wools. I'll take a photo of both of things soon.

I'm the proud owner of some 30cm 3mm and 60cm 5mm addis. Mmmmmm! I'm itching to get some socks knitted with the baby addis.

I only have a week to finish Thom's hooded cardigan!!

I'm waiting on a delivery from Bendigo Mills for 400grams of wool to dye and 200grams of lovely pink wool to knit myself something special with.

Back soon with some photos!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Introducing Thom and his Tassle Hat

I guess I should introduce my knitting muse!!

Meet Thom :-)

Thom is 15 months (born in Feb 8th 2006) and is my mischievous toddler who says "ah ah" (read: no no) when I ask him to do something. As you can see in the photos, he's none too fond of modeling hats that mummy has made for him.

(the quality of the shots is shocking....Thom wouldn't stand still and kept ripping the hat off)

Oh! The hat! I actually came across it the other day in an old craft bag. I had started knitting it in garter stitch and in the flat because at the time I was terrified of knitting in the round and purl stitches. I basically just knitted a rectangle and then sewed it up. Easy peasy! I then attached two tassles to the points and I think it looks super cute.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mondyeitis Photos 3

While I like this (it's the Inca) the colours are very different. It's interesting to see how different wools dye. I used the exact same colours on the Cleckheaton and Inca (but less yellow on the Inca) and both wools "drunk" the colours so differently. The colours on the Inca are a lot more muted and pale. The blue green dye on the Inca came out in an interesting mossy green colour.

Mondyeitis Photos 2

This is the cleckheaton. I think this is my fave :-)

Mondyeitis Photos

Excuse the laundry in the background! It's washing day! The colours are also a little different (mainly brighter) in real life.

Green finger!!

From left to right: Patons "Inca" 10 ply, Cleckheaton "Country" 8ply, Jolly Jumbuck "Aurora" 8 ply.





Today is Monday...the start of another week with a demanding toddler and housework to do *sigh*.

As I was grumping around this morning, I spied my Jolly Jumbuck dyeing kit. I raced around trying to find the instructions that I had misplaced and then got busy dyeing during Thom’s morning nap.

I firstly dyed a 100g skein of JJ “Aurora” in shades of emerald green, jade blue/green and light (almost lime) green. I’m in love with it and acid dyes. They are SO strong and vibrant.

This afternoon during Thom’s afternoon nap I dyed 100g each of some Patons Inca and Cleckheaton 100% wool. I had mixed up too much dye this morning so I decided to find some more wool that was lying around and looking boringly white or cream.

This afternoon’s effort was decidedly “mad scientistish” as I diluted some of the colours and added splashes of yellow to the wool in a very haphazard and unplanned manner. Needless to say, I ended up with a green index finger and a patch of lime green pebbles on the balcony! Ha!

Here are some things I learnt today:

  • Acid dyes STINK. Not just a pong, but a stench. I think it’s the citric acid. It’s funny though. My nan also dyes wool, has for years, and every time I go to her place and she’s dyeing, you can smell it a mile off. I always wondered what the stench was coming from her laundry when she was a-dyeing and now I know. It’s like a terribly strong vinegar smell.

  • If you have a hole in your glove you will end up with a stained finger. If you wash up the things you used for dyeing, glove free, you will end up with stained fingers (plural).

  • You don’t need to mix up much dye. I mixed up too much in the morning, hence the need for some afternoon dyeing.

  • Dyeing is SO fun and, I suspect, addictive. Don’t expect to get anything else done during the day!

  • Try and keep any curious cats at bay when dyeing. We didn’t have any mishaps, but there was a lot of potential for Rosie to turn all shades of green today.

I’ll take some photos soon :-)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

It's yuck, don't like it, but here it is....

So here is the result of my first attempt at dyeing and I'm really not happy with it. As you can see from the photo, the wool looks like it didn't "drink" the dye in properly. I think it's probably because of the wool (Cleackheaton) as opposed to the dyeing method.

I might make another caliometry out of it.

Bag lady

I've been admiring Ana's lovely felted bag and I've been listening to Mon's design ideas and I've decided to have a go at a bag myself!!

I managed to salvage these bag handles from my mum's place and I'm already milling over some design ideas. It's a little hard to explain my ideas but, at this stage, I'm planning on making a rectangular shaped bag (I haven't decided on the colour yet) that has "tabs" that go through the metal loops of the handle. I then plan to find some unique buttons (4) to attach the tabs to the main bag body.

The design looks good in my head at least! hehe

A new project is in the works!

I managed to pick up some lovely jade green 100% merino on sale today. It was $2.99 a ball and was originally $5.99 so it was a bit of a find! I got 15 balls, and plan to make this top from Knitty http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall06/PATTlucie.html .
I plan to lengthen the torso (which is why I got 15 balls - ie more than I would need).
I'm pretty excited about it and hope I can carry it off!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Colours to DYE for!

Wish me luck!!!!

This morning I'm all "a twitter" because I'm leaping into the world of hand dyeing wool!

The steps I took are:
I based my project on these set of instructions http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/FEATdyeyourown.html

1. I unraveled 3 balls of 50g of 100% wool into a skein (I used the kitchen cupboard handles to help!).

2. Soaked the wool overnight in the crockpot with enough water to cover it and 3/4 cup of white vinegar.

3. In the morning I put the wool on a gentle spin cycle to get out excess moisture (so it was easier to handle) and then placed it back in the crockpot with enough cold water to cover it and 1/2 cup of vinegar. I then put the dial to high and waited for it to heat to the point of steam rising.

4. I mixed up three pots of colour using food dye (yes!) and tested the colour mix on some serviettes. To be honest....it wasn't a good indication of the colours.

5. I carefully poured the dye over the wool and put the lid on.

*I actually just went back to check the colours and I took the photo above (the one on the bottom). The white patches in the photo aren't so obvious in real life but much to my horror, when I looked at the underside of the wool it was WHITE! ARGH! I turned the wool over, mixed up some of the same colours and poured them over the top. I hope I haven't made a disastrous mistake. I'm sure it'll be fine....just more colourful!*

Mini project "Calorimetry"

I'm excited about this mini project I'm doing at the moment.

Since finding the pattern for a knitted headband I've wanted one that I was convinced looked good in my hair. I have short hair (have most of my life) and I've always had trouble with headbands that go the whole way around my head - they tend to make my hair at the back flick up. Not the most attractive of looks.

So when I came across this pattern I was wrapped and got started almost immediately. http://www.knitty.com/issuewinter06/pattcalorimetry.html

I'm using some left over merino/silk that I knitted some longies from and I just hope hope hope that I actually have enough to complete the project. I did a guage swatch this time because the project says it's very important. The great thing about this project too is it's basically repetition of numerous short rows so it's giving me a lot of practise with pesky short rows and it's also a different (and very easy) technique.
I just hope I have enough yarn! If not I'll just put it down to practice as I unravel it.